Another bit from a Starbuck's cup. It's not that this is profound - whether it is or not, decide yourself - but that it echoes my own ideas, albeit from a different angle. I've declared on more than one occasion that it pays to know the rules before you break them. Not that you *can't* break them, just make sure that you're doing it deliberately from a position of knowledge instead of ignorance or rampant stupidity. This quote brings to my mind, it also doesn't pay to reinvent the wheel, unless of course you're doing it for informational purposes - again, instead of from ignorance that the wheel already exists.
Part of why this comes to interest now is, I'm in process of trying to kick-start my sword studies into a better line. Specifically, Giganti (16th c Italian rapier, for the record) on an artistic line rather than combative (I'd rather look right and lose than look wrong and win, if that makes sense). I've been taking any related rapier classes I can, but while the underlying principles are similar, my style's gone all to pot - totally unidentifiable. So I'm doing something I should have done eons ago - going to the original manuscript and transcribing the Italian as best I can to compare to the one basic translation somone else has done. I certainly don't know the language, but I know the basics, and similar latinate languages, and have a peculiar ability to gain understanding by reading - and by extension writing - things I don't otherwise understand. Got me through school and college, after all. I haven't bothered up til now, because there *is* this initial translation, and I know there's already somone with far better credentials than I working on a real translation and 'how-to' publication. And why reinvent a wheel?
But now I find myself inventing away, with the full knowledge that I *am* copying work already done (or in progress). I have a reason for it, though, and since it's being done because of *how I learn*, I don't feel nearly as stupid for doing it. The idea is, once I get a feel for how Giganti himself was trying to convey this information (that's the transcribing part) I can take the bits that I learned in workshops on how to actually do some things, see how that looks in 'Giganti-ese' and get a better idea of how to put the rest of it into practice. It isn't the best method, but as there isn't an existing program for learning this stuff, and it will be a bit afor the information is available from a respectable source I think it best to do my own footwork as I can.
That, and the fact that I've set myself a goal of July 2007 to get into publicly fighting trim - there's a tournament at an annual workshop I want to be up for. Never fought in it before, but the 'elderly curmudgeons' with whom I'm associated (;D), among others, have been complaining that the style of combat has been dreadfully sacrificed in favor of winning i.e. playing to the rules of the sport without regard for what the purported style's Master would have you do. Now, I'm not dumb enough to think I'm going to do more than die prettily - I'm not horrible, but I doubt I'm going to suddenly be Katana in a half-year. But this is a goal, a concrete goal, that will hopefully get me back into more serious training. And that certainly isn't bad.